Comic Con Survival Guide
Comic Con is fast approaching, and it’s your lucky year; I did all the homework so you don’t have to! I interviewed a few different people about their experiences at Comic Con so that you have a leg up on what you need to know ahead of time.
Here’s a little background on the people I interviewed: Ry Shirley is 29 and used to work for Apple; Leilani Snyder is 28 and works as a hairstylist; Matthew Madrigal is 44 and works as an office tech while his daughter Kiya, 15, is a high school student; Ted Weber is 25 and works in an office, and Kevin Rodriguez, 31, is a film critic.
Now let’s ask them some questions!
What Con did you attend?
Ry: Blizzcon and Wizard Con
Leilani: Comic Con San Diego 1998, 1999, 2000
Ted: Comic Con San Diego
Kevin: San Diego Comic Con, Anime Expo, Sacramento Comic Con, D23
Matthew & Kiya: Sacramento Comic Con
Did you dress up? Who as?
Leilani: I dressed up as Catwoman one year.
Ted: Dressing up is for nerds.
Kevin: I did not dress up at any of these cons. Granted, in most cases I was attending as press, but I personally don't care to dress up. I do, however, always wear comic themed t-shirts!
Matthew & Kiya: We both did. As “real” superheroes. We wore our USA soccer kits since the Women’s World Cup was going on.
A photo posted by Comic-Con International (@comic_con) on Jul 12, 2015 at 12:59pm PDT
What is one thing you wish you’d known about it before you went?
Ry: I would have paid more attention to what time the panels were at and made a schedule. There’s a lot going on and it’s easy to run out of time.
Leilani: When I went my first year, how many of the actual artists were going to be drawing characters.
Ted: I wish I had known to bring money.
Kevin: How long the lines were going to be. No amount of amount of warning can prepare you for the lines, crowds, and overstuffing you will have to endure.
Matthew: I wish I knew it cost hella damn money to take your picture with Daryl from the Walking Dead. Or with Sam (Bruce Campbell, Kiya’s favorite actor on her favorite tv show Burn Notice).
Kiya: I wish I brought more money because I wanted to buy more than I thought.
A photo posted by Comic-Con International (@comic_con) on Jul 9, 2015 at 8:16am PDT
What was the coolest thing about Con?
Ry: Definitely getting the guests' signatures. They're usually really cool people. I got to shake Bruce Campbell's hand! The one that was supposed to be a chainsaw!
Leilani: The artist drawing in my book classic characters.
Ted: My personal favorite thing was seeing a lot of videogames that were not yet released to the public.
Kevin: Meeting lifelong comic book heroes. I know some people go to meet actors and Hollywood big hot, but I've always enjoyed meeting the artists and the animators myself!
Matthew: Getting to meet Rob Prior. My favorite artist. He was so personable and talked to me forever while showing me sneak peaks of what my favorite music artist was up to (Tech N9ne). They collaborate. I bought so much of his stuff, and he personalized each drawing with more drawings THAT HE DREW WITH BOTH HANDS SIMULTANEOUSLY!
Kiya: Seeing everybody so dressed up. The costumes were so elaborate. The people went all-out.
A photo posted by Comic-Con International (@comic_con) on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:53pm PDT
What was the lamest thing about Con?
Ry: The lines, definitely.
Leilani: As it became more popular the lines were awful and they were more strict.
Ted: Nerds in costumes. Really though, just the massive number of people. People EVERYWHERE. Also people spouting dead memes.
Kevin: Did I mention the lines? Also, there are certain people you can only meet if you buy an expensive art piece in advance (like Seth Macfarlane or Brad Bird).
Matthew: Needing so much cash. So many vendors couldn't connect to the internet to take our credit cards. We missed out on good art and a sword.
Kiya: Waiting in the long ass line to get in was super lame. People kept cutting in the line once the line got moving and no workers did anything about it.
Advice for survival?
Ry: Bring snacks and drinks, and something to carry all the stuff you’re going to buy. Artists’ Alley is amazing and there is so much cool stuff.
Leilani: Go the whole weekend so you don’t feel rushed.
Ted: Don’t spout dead memes. Wearing a heavy costume in the summer in San Diego is probably the highway to heatstroke.
Kevin: Get to every event you want to go to at least an hour early. Bring your own food (food lines are long, meals are expensive, and they aren't very good). Leave credit cards at home (only bring the amount of cash you intend to spend). If you're going to SDCC, avoid going to panels at Hall H. Otherwise, have fun, and just know you can never do everything you want to do (so plan ahead as much as you can days in advance).
Matthew: Wear comfortable shoes. There's so much to see and you won't want to leave early. Also, don't be afraid to stop people and ask to take a picture with them. Everybody that dresses up takes it as a compliment that you want your photo with them.
Kiya: Talk to all the aspiring authors and artists. They all have the chance to be somebody big and famous someday. So much talent.
And that’s a wrap on surviving Comic Con! Stay safe out there, live long and prosper, may the forks be with you, etc. Also, be sure to post comments about your own experiences below! We’d love to hear from you.